WE MUST CHOPE FOR NATURE!
What is a Nature Reserve? Is it Reserve for Nature?
Nature Reserves, Wilderness, Areas, and National Parks (categories I and II) include all land area protected in the following IUCN categories: Category Ia. Strict nature reserve: A protected area managed mainly for scientific research and monitoring; an area of land and/or sea possessing some outstanding or representative ecosystems, geological or physiological features and/or species. Strange. How many Singaporeans know that? So what does it mean when it is protected? Lets start form the beginning.
The story so far…
- 200 years ago we have 410 km2 of Primary Forest.
- Forests felled are 1819 for the cultivation of gambier and pepper.
- 1883 Bukit TImah Nature Reserve was established.
- 1884 Central Catchment Nature Reserve was established to include the watershed forests around the 4 inland reservoirs (MacRitchie, Upper Peirce, Lower Peirce and Upper Seletar)
- Today we are left with approximately 2.01 km2 of Primary Forest, that occupy about 0.28% of the total land area of Singapore.
- In 1980s, with the construction of Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE), the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is completely separated from the Central Catchment Nature Reserve by this six-lane dual carriageway.
- In 1990s, the Seletar Expressay (SLE) was re-routed to go around a section of the Nature Reserve hence prevented the fragile Freshwater Swamp Forest from further damage or separation from the main forest.
- Signed the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in 1993. This is an international legal binding treaty to conserve biodiversity. Our Nature Reserve.
- In Jan 2013, LTA proposed a new 50km Cross Island Line (CRL) as part of the Land Transport Masterplan 2013. In the plan, the line will cut through a section of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. LTA New LInes and Extensions
- 2013 Detailed alignment of the CRL has not been decided. “Protecting the nature reserves will be an integral consideration for the project and all efforts would be taken to minimise impact to the environment.“ according to Ms Helen Lim from LTA. (http://app.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page.aspx?c=3&id=54aae638-6fba-4a8d-89f6-e4a50e4a5c90)
- 2016 LTA has decided to go ahead with soil investigation drilling bore holes as deep as 100 m in the nature reserve. Besides the initial proposed alignment route that cuts through the nature reserve, an alternative route that goes round the nature reserve is also proposed. Soil investigation will start soon on both routes.
- The detailed EIA report showed that the impact on the nature reserve is moderate but significant.
- There is still hope. Speak up to say we want to protect the small area of our nature reserve. We only have around 1.22km2 of Wetland Forest. It occupies only about 0.17% of the total land area in Singapore. We don’t want minimum impact. We want NO IMPACT. (reference to Our nature reserve page)